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- Lockdown Living
- Connected with the DPP over the last few months through the podcasts and twitter. Listening during my journeys to and from work have given way to easing the monotony of lockdown fever. Not much is more fun than discussing all things Purple so really enjoying catching up on all the episodes. We seem to have a different take on what appeals to us most, I’m more into the MkII and III era than Mk IV and beyond though I do love that stuff. Just think it’s moving further away from what I see as being classic purple. Anyway, after so many requests for reviews I thought I should front up and submit one. Loved the Rising episode so much as John reached excitability levels that made me concerned for his well being. I don’t blame him though as I completely agree. Keep doing your stuff guys.
Lead up to the Album:
- In the Fall of 1967 David Givens met Candy Ramey in Aspen Colorado. She was the washboard, harmonica player, and singer for the Piltdown Philharmonic Jug Band. They were playing at a location known as The Abbey and another known as The Leather Jug in Snowmass Village.
- David didn’t think much of it until one of his roommates told her she’s found a new hero who happened to be Candy from the jug band. David went to see her again with his roommate and was remembered their previous meeting.
- In 1968 David was arrested in connection to the death of one of his friends. First he was charged with his murder then later with possession of marijuana.
- On February 29, 1968 he met up with Candy again. A friend had offered to get him out of town in relation to the charges he was facing but he wanted to stay and see how things went with Candy.
- They stayed together for the next 16 years. David was 19 and Candy was 21.
- They started playing together and jamming. They met Tommy Bolin when he was traveling through town.
- Candy and David decided to get married after being together just a few months.
- One night Tommy came to see their band play and sat in with them and David said it just clicked.
- They met up with a drummer named Robbie Chamberlain.
- John Faris joined Tommy. They’d had a band named Ethereal Zephyr. They decided to drop the “ethereal” part.
- They started playing 6-7 nights a week. The band did a lot of charity work early on.
- Barry Fey became involved when they went to play for him at his partner’s club. Barry told them they were great and assured them they were on their way to success.
- Barry arranged for them to play in San Francisco in a couple of weeks then L.A. where some “big shots” from the music business would be there. Barry wanted to be the band’s manager at this point as he was beginning to work on concert promotions.
Original Album Mix
- Story of the recording here: https://www.zephyr-official.com/zephyr1stalbum.html
- “We were diligent, we worked hard. We recorded basic tracks which Bill edited down to acceptable lengths and then we started overdubbing vocals, guitar solos and B3 solos. Tommy and Candy performed take after take. We had fun, Tommy, Candy and I sang backup vocals together. And then we mixed it. Bill was falling asleep at the console night after night and the resulting mixes lacked focus, to say the least. We were not happy with the results.
- And for forty some years, I’ve been angry about it. Then, earlier this year (2013), producer Greg Hampton called me up to discuss his idea that we should fix the album and re-introduce Zephyr. He fixed the mixes and now, for the first time, you can hear what we heard before everything went wrong. I’m happy with the reults [sic].”
- Bass, Backing Vocals – David Givens
- Would later play on Carly Simon’s debut album.
- Drums, Backing Vocals – Robbie Chamberlin
- No credits outside of Zephyr.
- Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tommy Bolin
- Covered extensively on The Deep Purple Podcast.
- Lead Vocals, Harmonica – Candy Givens
- No credits outside of Zephyr.
- Piano, Organ, Flute – John Faris
- No credits outside of Zephyr.
- Producer – Bill Halverson
- Had previously worked with Cream and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
- David Givens said he was credited as “producer” but truthfully only functioned as an engineer.
- Engineer – Bill Halverson
- Management – Stan Greeson
Album Art & Booklet Review
- Artwork [Cover Art] – Alden Spilman
- A friend of the band’s.
- Artwork [Liner Art], Layout – William Shepard
- Photography By – Rod Dyer
- Did quite a few albums in the sixties mostly with Capitol Records. Also designed logos for companies.
Alternate Cover/Back in Australia
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- Sail On (Tommy Bolin, Candy Givens)
- David says Tommy came up with the verse on this song while David laid out the musical section.
- Sun’s a Risin (Bolin, David Givens)
- Raindrops (Dee Clark)
- Original by Dee Clark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUnwOwz6OvQ
- Boom-Ba-Boom (David Givens)
- Somebody Listen (David Givens, Candy givens, Tommy Bolin, John Faris)
- Cross the River (Candy Givens, David Givens)
- This was the song they normally opened sets with. The song came from the band “Brown Sugar” which Candy and David had before Zephyr.
- St. James Infirmary (Joe Primrose)
- John Faris suggested this song.
- Givens had the idea to switch it to a 6/8 jazz-waltz style.
- Original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmZAxSLxUlI
- Huna Buna (Candy Givens, Tommy Bolin)
- This was written while they set up in a night club during and early club gig. Candy always called David “Huna Buna” and Tommy thought it was funny. Tommy and Candy started trading verses.
- Hard Chargin’ Woman (Tommy Bolin, Robbie Chamberlin, John Faris, Candy Givens, David Givens)
- Based on a Zap Comix character named “White Man” or “Whiteman” who was a parody of a white-middle-class businessman. One of his sayings was “I’m a real hard charger.”
- Givens says this song gave birth to Tommy’s Echoplex.
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Reception and Review
- David Givens says that on the first album they listed Barry Fey as a “friend.” They thought this was a nice way to honor him. He said Barry was furious and never forgave them. David says Barry expected to be credited as executive producer.
- Givens says they were a live band and had a hard time adapting their set to the studio.
- Concerning reviews of Zephyr‘s debut: I only have one, written in the 90ies by Jim Sheridan. Sadly no contemporary review. Here it is:
- ZEPHYR (1969 self titled)
- Zephyr, the self titled debut from the legendary Boulder band was Tommy Bolin’s major label recording debut. The band’s youth, and the limited nature of the recording capability, is somewhat apparent, as is lead vocalist Candy Givens’ flamboyant Janis Joplin fixation. Though barely 19 at the time of recording, Tommy’s precocious musical capability is very apparent on this album, in his playing AND his writing. He gets co-songwriting credit on 5 of the 8 cuts, including the album’s epic 7:43 opener “Sail On” and the equally grandiose closer, the 9:18 “Hard Chargin’ Woman.” “Sail On” travels all over the place, veering into heavy progressive rock/ jazzy sections that recall the Allman Brothers, Vanilla Fudge, and, interestingly enough, Deep Purple, in the wailing vocals and grandiose B-3 Hammond organ stylings. Fans of San Francisco acid-rock sounds will find this release very appealing. The blues are given an electrification of serious proportions! “Boom-Ba-Boom/Somebody Listen” begins with a VERY tasteful instrumental and leads into a Led Zep/“Since I’ve Been Loving You”-ish blues. When compared to anyone, Tommy is usually compared to Jimi Hendrix, but this work finds his playing and arranging perhaps closer to Jimmy Page and the British school of blues playing. However, one listen to the outro solo of “Raindrops” makes it clear that already his own distinctive playing voice had emerged.
For Further Information:
- Psychedelic Psounds: Interviews from A to Z with 60s Psychedelic and Garage Bands by Allan Vorda [Goodreads]
- Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story by Greg Prato
- “Zephyr: A Volcano of Dreams” by Allan Vorda from DISCoveries Magazine – April, 1991
- Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.